This coming up Sunday is Mother's Day, so I'm getting this out a little early, but I think that's okay. In my family, as far as I can remember, Mother's Day has never been something that was celebrated at home. I don't mean that we didn't celebrate it at all, or that I don't have a mother or stepmother to celebrate. We have always celebrated or "shown appreciation" for mothers at my church in the morning and then spent the evenings together with both sides of the family to celebrate as well.

What I mean to say is that my family never did the stereotypical "breakfast in bed, handmade cards, lots of roses" every year. Sure, there were times where my sister and I made some cards in class and brought them home, and my dad has never failed to deliver roses. (I could be wrong and be getting my Dad into trouble here by raising Mom's expectations. Sorry Dad.) We just never did much more than letting her sleep in the Saturday before and letting her choose lunch after church, if we weren't headed over to a grandparents' house.

I have two grandmothers, a biological aunt and several pseudo aunts- my mother's friends- as well as a great Mom. This letter is, basically, a a "thank you" to all of the mothers and mother figures in my life. I just want to say thank you, for the love you have shown me, my sister, my cousins, and your own children. Thank you for showing me what it is looks like to love unconditionally and to be loved through all of the mistakes and problems that kids and teenagers can go through. Whether it was school, health, friends, parents, or even our love lives, you have been there in the best way you know how.

To Ma-maw and Grandma Jane, thank you for all of your love and support over the years. To my Aunts Lori, Tonya, and Joy, thank you for being amazing examples to me and my sister. I'm so glad to have had such great aunts like you guys, whether by blood or friendship. And finally, to Mom, thanks for all that you've done for us. Thank you for doing your best to teach us and raise us in the best way you know how. I really appreciate your efforts and I don't think that I tell you that enough.

I love you, and again, thank you.